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Instagram Kids plan put on hold amid pushback, company looking at changes

The head of Instagram wrote in a blog post this pause in development will allow the company more time to work with parents, experts and policymakers.

WASHINGTON — Editor's note: The video above is from May.

Development of Instagram kids is being paused while Instagram looks at other ways to move forward amid months of criticism of the idea. The app was said to be geared towards children under the age of 13, but pushback centered around concerns over access and content. 

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, wrote in a Twitter post Monday that this will allow the company time to “work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today."

The announcement follows a withering series by the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Facebook was aware that the use of Instagram by some teenage girls led to mental health issues and anxiety.

Mosseri said that Instagram believes it's better for children under 13 to have a specific platform for age-appropriate content, and that other companies like TikTok and YouTube have app versions for that age group.

There has been swift criticism since the plans surfaced in recent months. In May, a bipartisan group of 44 attorneys general released a letter asking Facebook Chief Mark Zuckerberg to stop their plans to create a version of the wildly popular photo-based social media app that would be targeted at kids. 

Federal privacy regulations prevent children under the age of 13 from being allowed to use Instagram in its current form.

In March, Facebook confirmed that the company was “exploring a parent-controlled experience.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this developing story. This will be updated.

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